Tools of the Trade

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It is amazingly easy to get wrapped up in camera gear, a flaw that I will admit to having done.  The latest and greatest camera or lens or tripod are all marketed with this human foible in mind.  However, with practice and a few mistakes under one’s belt, this compulsion fades with time.  Photographers begin to look at gear as tools of the trade.

As tools, there are general ones and specialized ones.  You can upholster a leather chair with a sledge hammer and roofing nails, but it will look much worse than doing so with a proper tack hammer and brass tacks.  Similarly with photography, you can use a cell phone camera to try to photograph a bird on a branch 200 feet away, but a camera with a 300mm lens would work much better.  However, they are all tools and need to be recognized as such.

With continued practice and inevitable failure and success, you will discover what works for you best in what area of photography you enjoy most.  A general rule of thumb would be to try before you buy.  There are numerous camera and lens rental companies out there (Lensrental.com is the one I use the most) and friends sometimes have some gear to try out.  So, if you’d like to save your money for travel instead of buying that fantastic camera, I would say you are making the smart choice!

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